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Classification Of Poetry In Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Guru Fateh Ji

I need your help in defining some terms of poetry in Gurbani.

1. 2 line poetry stanza - Couplet in English-Dudki in Gurmukhi
2. 3 line poetry stanza - Tercet in English-Tutki in Gurmukhi
3. 4 line poetry Stanza - Quatrain in English- ?? in Gurmukhi
4. 5 line poetry Stanza - Quintain in English-?? In Gurmukhi

The Quintain form of Gurbani is not very uncommon. One quintain form we chant every day in Rehras -So Purakh Niranjan...

Most of the people have no idea what it is, as a result, they stumble daily while parroting it as Dudki and then end up borrowing the first line of the second stanza without knowing what is taking place. Hence continues the saga of parroting. Its beautifully succulent meaning is another story for another life. However, a Gurmukh would only have this one very life.

The same above pattern continues in the poetry of Tutki form. Most of the Gurbani in Tutki is by Guru Nanak and Guru Amardas.

My friend from Malaysia, Harwan Singh had posted Katha from Harmanpreet Singh Kathavaachak who does Katha daily on FB. It is from Guru Nanak Dev ji in Tutki form. I heard 3 of them starting from Ang 18. The very first day I felt he had no idea about these forms as he was chanting it in Dudki form which I brought to Harwan Singh's attention and he also agreed with me.

I copied it and sent it to Harmanpreet via Messenger and requested a friend request which he accepted that was very nice of him. You can read the whole conversation on Harwan Singh's FB page.

In a nutshell, he had no idea of these different forms of poetry. I explained it to him and he made an effort the third day to correct himself which for me is the best thing for a Sikh Kathavaack but it is rare. Most of them have the stiff upper lip.

Bheinoh and Veeroh, the reason I brought this up is that the 'Gurbani gem' posted one line of 'Khin' from Guru Nanak Dev ji in Tutki form on Ang 58 and I just wanted to add my 2 pence worth and explain the rahao part only, and also wanted to share these different forms of poetry in Dudki and Tutki form.

But I wanted to go further and explain also to them about Quartrain and Quintain, but sadly I do not know their Gurmukhi equivalent, hence I seek your help before I take the plunge.

I sent the same request to Harwan Singh about 2 days ago as the conversation had taken place on his FB page but have not received any response. So, I seek my brother's help here.

I am very aware of Gurbani, even each aunkar should be understood properly. I just wanted to know the technical part and as Gurbani is not read but chanted in a rhythm because of its construction, these forms of poetry act as punctuation marks and many of us do not pay attention to it which forces us to borrow a flower from another bouquet which we end up tearing apart. Any stanza with either 2.3.4 or 5 lines has a deep meaning for us to grasp.

Lately, my attention has diverted to the technical part because I have been blessed to keep on understanding Gurbani daily. In fact, I finished my last Sehaj Paath this Sunday. Took me 3 years 5 months. I do one ang or more daily, take notes and then compare them with my previous notes the next day and it is amazing to see the evolution of mann from one time to the other for the same Shabad.

Our visionary Gurus have created the Gurbani like a prism and with their grace, they give us the glimpse of a new angle. I am just a lucky guy to have a company of brothers like you.

Thanks & Regards

Tejwant Singh
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